A new scene appeared on Taksim Square in the heart of the Turkish city of Istanbul today, Friday, where the new “Taksim” mosque witnessed the first unofficial mass Friday prayers, since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened it on May 28.
This event, which will be repeated weekly, is the beginning of a new era for the famous square, and a general character that will not be lost in the area, according to the workers and residents in it. Read also Istanbul bid farewell to the famous “tea session” at the Maiden’s Tower The Turks and Winter’s Mona…when the village becomes the first destination for families The Turkish city of “Al-Laban” .. From here begins the production of the finest types of orchid in the world The land of honey and almonds.. Dacha is a secret paradise in Turkey
“We came to witness the beginning of a new history for this square and this tourist area,” with this phrase, the veiled Syrian woman, Fatima, described her feelings as she set foot on Taksim Square for the first time since her arrival in Turkey 4 years ago.
The scene of the large crowds gathering around the “Taksim” mosque to perform Friday prayers, was not only a strange event for Fatima, but also for a number of Arab women who sat in the mosque’s outer courtyard to participate in this day, after the mosque was filled to the end with worshipers.
Fatima added to Al Jazeera Net, “I did not imagine that I would visit this area. We usually know that it is for young people and foreign tourists who want to enjoy the evening and shopping.”
The first Friday prayer in the mosque, after its opening last week and the lifting of the precautionary measures to combat Corona, which were limiting the number of worshipers inside mosques, also attracted tourists from European countries, due to the strangeness of the event to them and the large number of masses.
Spanish tourist Marie told Al Jazeera Net, “The scene is beautiful, everyone here is in complete silence listening to something I do not understand, but the scene is touching.”
She added, in weak English, “I will wait for the mosque to be emptied of these crowds to enter and take some pictures for the memory, as it is like other beautiful mosques in Istanbul.”
She also indicated that when she arrived in Istanbul 3 days ago, she did not know that Taksim Square had become a large mosque that could be visited for tourism or prayer.
The new Taksim Mosque will not only become a new symbol of the square, but will also give it a different character, according to the young Mauritanian Othman, who has been living in Istanbul for 3 years.
He told Al Jazeera before participating in the Friday prayer in the outer courtyard of the mosque, which is the courtyard itself, “I came from a somewhat remote area because today is a historical event, this great mosque will be in the coming years one of the city’s tourist attractions, and perhaps later, it will become one of its historical landmarks as a mosque.” Sultan Ahmed and others.
The first Friday in the new “Taksim” mosque was marked by a large public presence that exceeded two thousand worshipers, which is the capacity of the new mosque, and also witnessed the participation of Arab tourists and others coming from Asian countries, led by Indonesia.
During the prayer ceremonies, street vendors – who have always distributed roses to tourists during normal days – participated in selling water to the worshipers, and providing them with the necessary newspapers to help them perform prayers in the streets and square surrounding the mosque.
The itinerant flower seller Beren said that today she was able to approach the worshipers and participate in selling water instead of roses, and she will be waiting every Friday to perform this task.
She added, “These are very large numbers in one place and at one time. We have not seen this number in the square for a long time, except for the opening day of the mosque when the president and officials came.”
It is noteworthy that the idea of building the Taksim Mosque appeared 27 years ago, when Erdogan revealed his childhood dream of building a mosque in Taksim Square.
On February 17, 2017, the countdown to achieving this dream began, and the initial designs for the mosque were presented, after years of public controversy and legal controversy.
The area of the mosque is 2482 square meters, and it is expected to accommodate 2,250 worshipers, and the length of one minaret in it is 61 meters.